Romualdez eyes Senate seat in 2016
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said that he is now “open” on the possibility of running for a Senate seat in the 2016 national elections.
Romualdez, who represents Leyte’s first congressional district that includes Tacloban and seven other towns, is now on his third and last term in the House of Representatives.
“Well, we are open to it,” Romualdez told a news conference here on Monday. “We want to be a positive factor; we want to be a positive force. Anything for the city and the district and entire Eastern Visayas region, we want to be a part of.”
Romualdez, who is the national president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, said the current composition of the Senate was not favorable to Eastern Visayas, the poorest region of the Visayas. In contrast, Western and Central Visayas enjoy relatively better economic development and have their own representatives in the Senate, Romualdez added.
He claimed that Eastern Visayas, home to more than 4 million people and still reeling from the aftermath of the Super Typhoon “Yolanda,” does not get funding from the national government.
“The budget allocation for the entire country is that the Visayas gets 14 percent, 24 percent goes to Mindanao and the balance goes to Luzon. And when we look at the composition of the Senate, there seems to be a correlation between the representation and the allocation, if not development,” Romualdez said. “We want to correct this seeming imbalance. Obviously, we want to be in the position that one day, we can help out and bring more… (development) to Region 8.”
At present, the Visayas region is represented in the Senate by Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Serge Osmeña and Franklin Drilon, the Senate president.
The closest representative of Eastern Visayas to the Senate is Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, cousin of Romualdez.
Romualdez is a nephew of former first lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos.
Eastern Visayas had its only senator in Jose Avelino, who became president of the Senate in the late 1940s. During the 2007 national elections, former Leyte governor and now Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla was drafted to run for senator under Lakas-CMD only to withdraw to seek a third term as a governor.
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